BROOKLINE SCHOOL BOARD
A regular meeting of the Brookline School Board was held on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at the Captain Samuel Douglass Academy.
Chairman Dave Partridge presided:
Members of the Board Present: Beth Lukovits, Vice-Chairman
Wanda Meagher (7:58 p.m.)
Members of the Board Absent: Marcia Farwell, Secretary
Also in Attendance: Susan Hodgdon, SAU41 Superintendent
Bob Kelly, Director of Special Education
Lidia Desrochers, Principal, Richard Maghakian Memorial School
Lorraine Wenger, Principal, Captain Samuel Douglass Academy
Kristina Henry, Assistant Principal
AGENDA ADJUSTMENTS - None
Mark Jennings, Hollis/Brookline Middle School Football Team
Requested permission to utilize the school field during the months of July and August. Ms. Lukovits questioned whether any activities would take place that would tear up the field. Mr. Jennings described the activities as agility clinics in July and football practice (light hitting, etc.) during the week of August 17th.
Chairman Partridge questioned whether all required insurance is in place and was assured it is. Responded as long as the insurance is in place the fields can be utilized. Scheduling should be done through administration.
APPROVAL OF SCHOOL BOARD MINUTES
Brookline School Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April, 13, 2009
MOTION BY MEMBER LUKOVITS TO APPROVE AS WRITTEN
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI
Principals Wenger and Desrochers touched on the events that are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. These events area outlined in their reports (copy attached).
With regard to “No Child Left Behind”, Principal Wenger informed the board she, Karin Pillion and Kristina Henry attended a School in Need of Improvement Workshop in Concord on May 18th. She felt very encouraged with some of the things that have been put in place over the past year in response to not meeting AYP. A plan is due to the state August 6th. The administrative team has scheduled a meeting for Thursday, May 28th at 3:30 p.m. to begin work on the plan. A parent evening will be scheduled (before end of June) to gain suggestions from that perspective. The administrative team will be working on this for the next several weeks as the timeframe is compressed due to the summer months approaching. She remarked, as we are not a Title I school, we have the option of putting together a plan that can be revisited each year and honed to better meet the needs of the students.
Principal Wenger informed the board Ms. Duhamel is in receipt of the information from Harvey Construction concerning the roof at CSDA. Chairman Partridge commented the board would defer that conversation until Ms. Duhamel is present.
Chairman Partridge questioned what was being done to address the rot in the front, and stated his desire to begin addressing that issue right away. Suggested funding could come from the maintenance fund. Principal Wenger stated that is on hold at the moment as Ms. Duhamel is looking into the financing option. However they are ready to get moving once the funding source is identified.
Principal Desrochers informed the board of the desire to move classrooms around at RMMS in order to locate all children on the first floor. Those affected will be coming together to discuss how spaces should be used as far as movement in the building. At this time, there is no definitive mapping.
As the 5th and 6th grade numbers will have 26-27 students in a class, they are working on getting them out of the portables and back into full size classrooms. The portables will be used for academic support. All aspects of the portable will be in use, but the spaces will be reconfigured for speech, etc.
With regard to enrollment of non-identified students in preschool, there are confirmed numbers of four 3 year olds and six 4 four year olds. Kindergarten enrollment is at 66, however, enrollment tends to increase over the summer months. Chairman Partridge questioned the number of identified students. Principal Desrochers responded there are three definite 4 year olds and the possibility of one 3 year old and two 4 year olds. They are still in the process of meeting for identified student placements. Principal Desrochers remarked there are 14 students who are currently out of district who will be placed in readiness and first grade.
Ms. Lukovits questioned the number of students currently in the kindergarten program that will be moved into readiness. Principal Desrochers has not heard back from kindergarten teachers as of yet. Parents and teachers have received the packets, and administration is awaiting the response. Ms. Lukovits questioned the in-house numbers, and was told placement is being performed. Numbers are not known at this time.
Director Kelly has received communications from the Department of Education on the four items to be followed up on for the application for preschool. Principal Desrochers and he met and are following up on three and asking a question on the fourth as it questioned certifications, and there are none at this time. Believes preliminary approval can be granted with permanent approval in the fall.
Principal Wenger informed the board of the following personnel changes; Kristina Henry to become Assistant Principal/Special Education Coordinator at CSDA and Lyudmyla Mayorska will take the position of the fourth 5th grade teacher. The fourth grade numbers are over 75 for incoming with a high percentage of identified students. Relative to the population of needs, it was felt more appropriate to have smaller class sizes. The class size would likely be over 25.
Chairman Partridge expressed concerns with Kristina Henry’s move from RMMS to CSDA. Suggested, given the stability, smaller number of identified students at CSDA, the transitioning with kindergarten, number of identified students, etc. at RMMS, perhaps Ms. Henry would consider remaining at RMMS for an additional year. Ms. Lukovits stated she and Ms. Meagher have similar concerns. She remarked Ms. Henry has proven herself to be competent, and her presence would be helpful especially with issues concerning special education needs. She expressed her feeling Ms. Henry would provide the continuity RMMS needs. She remarked it took a long time to recover from the special education hole that had existed and she would hate to end up back there.
Mr. Milkowski questioned who would fill Ms. Henry’s role at RMMS, and was told the individual would be a new hire who would also be an Assistant Principal/Special Education Coordinator. Principal Desrochers remarked the preschool program would have its own Director.
Ms. Lukovits commented it would be the administration that would be responsible for training the new hire, and she feels Principal Wegner has a lot of experience in the district and could take a year to train a new hire and get him/her up to speed. That would alleviate the need for Principal Desrochers to train while dealing with the changes occurring at RMMS.
When asked if she would consider that, Principal Wegner stated her belief if that were to be done it would have to be for more than a one-year period of time as she does not believe it fair to the individual taking the position to be under one administration for one year and another the next.
Mr. Milkowski agreed that would subject the new hire to a second transition. He felt Ms. Henry could possibly spend some time training the new hire. When informed of staff meetings that take place on a weekly basis, Mr. Milkowski expressed his opinion with a team of four administrators meeting on a weekly basis nothing should get away from them. Ms. Lukovits commented there are a tremendous amount of things occurring at RMMS, and things have gotten away in the past. Ms. Henry stated everything at RMMS is organized and will be there for the person who steps in.
Director Kelly stated his desire to have closure on the situation, as a few applicants are available for interview. Skill sets could be assessed based on compatibility to the needs of the district. Ms. Lukovits commented, in the past, a board member has sat on the interview committee for administrative hires. Chairman Partridge added a member of the public has been included as part of the team as well. The committee has not been formed as of yet. The position has been advertised and applicants are available.
The hiring committee will consist of Principal Desrochers, administration representative, Director Kelly, special education representative, Forrest Milkowski, board representative, a member of the public, and teachers as appropriate. Chairman Partridge will put out the call for a member of the public. Hope to be conducting interviews within the week.
Several applications have been received for the pre-school program. Ms. Lukovits suggested the hiring committee should consist of at least 5-7 members. Chairman Partridge commented on the need for diverse input.
Principal Wenger informed the board she has been contacted by Patricia Mason of Xilinx. Although their company has experienced an economic impact, it is believed the funding will remain the same. However, they want to fine-tune the number of partners. Will be discussing which have been used and which bring the most to the students. Although it is likely a few will be dropped, the remaining will be strengthened.
Two teachers at CSDA were recipients of the Hollis/Brookline Rotary grants. Greg Snoke received a $500 grant for Heredity software programs that can be put on the laptops. The software will be received prior to the end of the school year, can be worked on during the summer, and be ready to go for the start of the school year. Maureen Quaglieri is the recipient of a Lunch Bunch Book Club grant in the amount of $500.00.
Tim Putnam had applied and was denied a grant for a new type of digital video camera. However, he participated in a workshop in the hopes of receiving the grant. Although he did not receive the grant funding, he did receive a free camera as a result of attending the workshop.
As part of the professional development days in June, Mahesh Sharma will be coming up from Massachusetts and presenting a workshop. He has presented a number of workshops this past year as well as a week-long diagnostic math workshop. It is hoped this type of relationship can be ongoing. SDE will be conducting a Response to Intervention Workshop for K-6 teachers in reading and math.
Director of Curriculum
Karin Pillion informed the board they have been working since January looking at the recommendations that were made at the end of the last summer in terms of curriculum. They have looked at several A curriculums from around the country and compared those to our curriculum. They have revised the current GLEs to have more of a local flavor, added rigor to local GLEs, and discussed this with both the Hollis and Brookline elementary schools to come up with the curriculum. A checklist has been set up that includes asterisks indicating updated portions of the curriculum. Based on the National Math Advisory Report, the curriculum includes talk of automaticity and mastery of certain math skills at certain grade levels.
Chairman Partridge questioned the level of participation by the middle school in setting the curriculum for math. Superintendent Hodgdon remarked Karin Pillion has had significant involvement with the process. Chairman Partridge commented he would like to see yearly feedback from 7th grade teachers identifying any problem points (areas of weakness) that could result in adjustments to the curriculum. He questioned how the new set of text, enVision program, adopted by Hollis, lines up with our math program. Ms. Pillion explained the enVision program is a cross between Everyday Math and a traditional program (bets of both worlds). Everything in the updated curriculum is current in our textbooks, it may be that we simply skipped over some areas in the past.
Superintendent Hodgdon remarked there is a review of the math curriculum/program coming up in the next school year. Chairman Partridge requested the 7th and 8th grade teachers be actively poled, on a yearly basis, to see where the students are lacking when moving into those grade levels. Superintendent Hodgdon remarked there is a 7th grade math teacher and an administrator from the middle school on the committee. Assistant Principal Henry suggested some of the 7th grade NECAP data could be analyzed.
Director Mace had asked Superintendent Hodgdon to mention this is the first time there has been SAU wide participation, which is something she is encouraged by and hopes to see continue.
Principal Wenger remarked a few years ago we put in program adoption and textbook adoption, and math was coming up. Touched on a conversation around whether this was something we could think about during these economic times. She believes, given the nature of the past year’s budget considerations, it doesn’t seem likely. Chairman Partridge stressed we do not have a problem with the current program, we simply want to know where to emphasize.
Director of Special Education
ARRA Funding Guidelines
Director Kelly informed the board he receives ongoing updates from the DOE with regard to determination factors having to do with indicators the state has to monitor districts by for stimulus funding. That report on guidelines will not be out before June. The timeline indicates the availability of a web-based application May 15th. The obligation of the first 50% is not due until September 30th.
He stressed the purpose of the funding can only be used for activities or purchases that have an impact on outcomes of students who are identified with special education needs. It can also assist the district in enhancing compliance issues with what is called the Department of Education twenty (20) indicators, which is really their performance plan that has been created for them by the Office of Special Education Programs for continuous improvement in the State of New Hampshire.
Administrators have had a preliminary review of suggestions. The purpose is to try to do short-term investment for long-term effects and to address other student needs both present and future. There are some software items being looked into as well as a sound system.
Chairman Partridge questioned whether the introduction of preschool to address identified students could be included within the request for stimulus funding. Mr. Kelly has submitted that question to the DOE, but is unsure if it would be considered supplanting the budget as the district has already raised and appropriated funding. He is hopeful stimulus funding could delay those expenditures for a couple of years. Ms. Lukovits remarked the only funding raised and appropriated for preschool is the $9,000 to purchase the furnishings.
With regard to timelines, Mr. Kelly stated May 15th was the date the web-based application was available on line and the date to apply for and draw on the first fifty percent (50%) of funding. The second fifty percent (50%) can be applied for and drawn on after September 30, 2009. Those grants can continue to be edited until September 30, 2011. One hundred percent (100%) has to be expended by December 31, 2011. There is no deadline for the application.
With regard to the “Maintenance of Effort” requirement, Director Kelly has now been lead to believe that is not a requirement with federal funding. However, he is awaiting confirmation from the DOE. The grant is a reimbursement program. We have yet to receive definitive feedback from the DOE with regard to the reimbursement schedule and whether it will coincide with reporting requirements. Monthly reporting will include; what was expended, what activities were conducted, and the outcome or results of the activities. Beyond the DOE is the New Hampshire Office of Economic Stimulus Funding who will assist in expediting turnaround.
Superintendent Hodgdon remarked one of the key issues brought up by Ms. Duhamel is the need for a decision from the board relative to Café Services. There are two scenarios for consideration; maintaining our current staff levels or utilizing the staff of Café Services. When asked for the date a decision is needed by, Superintendent Hodgdon stated she was unclear, as she has not seen the contract for Café Services.
Ms. Joyce Jensen questioned whether it has been determined that Café Services will be back next year. Superintendent Hodgdon remarked if the contract is signed then yes they will be. Chairman Partridge cited the monetary difference between the two options; their staff is spending approximately $9,000 a year and our staff approximately $30,000 a year.
An unidentified member of the public questioned whether there was an improvement in the bottom line. Chairman Partridge responded, according to the report, they are under budget by approximately 7%. The report also noted the breakfast and snack programs were not implemented until April and have a positive affect on the bottom line. The current financial projection for FY09 is approximately $25,000.
Ms. Lukovits remarked the cost of the service last year was $37,000. She felt another option could be maintaining current staff with different staffing levels.
Chairman Partridge added, the entire difference in the cost between the two proposals is Café Services’ regular costs are at $21,000 lower utilizing with their own staff.
Ms. Joyce Jensen responded “that is incredible”, and stated she would like to see the figures. She commented Café Services had stated there did not need to be three (3) staff members at RMMS, however, when they send someone to watch over existing staff, that individual ends up being the third person serving. Also commented Café Services was working with a lot of supplies that had been left over from the previous year. She went on to state staff is concerned and want to know where they will be next year. She questions what the program had before Café Services were on board and what it has now.
A brief discussion ensued with regard to notices being sent home in the instance of student account balances being depleted and outstanding bills. Ms. Jensen remarked bills are sent out every Thursday. This is the most she has ever seen in deficits in the eleven years she has been with the district. Chairman Partridge stated he was not sure the outstanding amounts affect us. Ms. Lukovits questioned what occurs when a student has a negative balance. The response was that cereal was made available, however, per Café Services, this practice is no longer being utilized.
Mr. Milkowski stated the difference of $21,007 in labor costs between the two proposals. He stated his desire to see detailed breakdowns of labor costs for both scenarios; labor hours currently being expended and proposed labor hours to be expended, as well as to have a clear understanding of the timeframe in which a decision needs to be made. Ms. Lukovits reiterated the suggestion there could be an Option C where we maintain our employees.
An unidentified member of the public remarked if Café Services intends to cut staff, the students will be placed in a position where the amount of time spent in line will significantly shorten the amount of time available to eat their lunch. Mr. Milkowski responded the board would not allow that to happen. He stated the board’s appreciation of the public input. Remarked the bottom line is the bottom line. This is a big area, and the board needs to scrutinize the numbers.
Ms. Jensen commented Café Services had agreed to meet bi-weekly to check on how the program was working. One meeting was conducted last year at RMMS and no meetings have occurred at CSDA. No one appears to desire the input of the staff.
Superintendent Hodgdon stated her desire for Ms. Duhamel to prepare a sheet outlining an Option C. Ms. Lukovits reiterated she would like to understand the number of hours Café Services is projecting for our employees. Chairman Partridge remarked if we have to cut the number of hours because we can’t come up with the $20,000, nothing says we have to do that and switch away from all of our employees?
Ms. Jensen asked if the possibility exists to not have Café Jensens back and go back to the way it used to be. Chairman Partridge remarked it did not work the way it used to run. We would have to start the process all over. If we don’t do this we would have to hire someone to run it all, which would be more expensive. Ms. Jensen asked that the board look into the concerns expressed.
An unidentified member of the public suggested conducting tastings so that children can experience more of what the menu offers. She expressed her concern if a child does not like what is on the menu he/she will simply not eat. It was commented the choices available in the lunch menu have increased.
School Facilities Study
Superintendent Hodgdon remarked she had provided the synopsis from last fall where there were two groups studying school facilities. The central issue was to continue with the two communities and the COOP or if it would be more feasible for the COOP to split up and the two communities to have their own schools at the secondary level. At one point, Jim Murphy presented a full report from the Brookline group working on that question. When the Hollis group working on that question presented a report, they made a recommendation to the Selectmen, and she was charged by the COOP School Board to form a task force to look at the educational factor as the two groups were primarily focused on the financial side.
Stated she was addressing the board to see whether they desire participating in the task force or assigning representation. The timeline would require a recommendation be ready for the taxpayers in March of 2010.
Mr. Milkowski asked if the idea of combining the three districts has been discussed in the past. Superintendent Hodgdon remarked a K-12 COOP may have been discussed, but not since she has been on board. Chairman Partridge stated it has been mentioned previously. There are some potential benefits on the financial side. There are some potential advantages on the administrative side, however a fair number of people have pointed out that the administrative advantages are disadvantages. Remarked in any proportional representation, Brookline is the minority.
Chairman Partridge stated the formal report put together by Hollis had that as an option. Questioned whether the committee would be looking at the educational impact of all of the options that were discussed in the report or only dissolution. He would be against anything that would look only at dissolution as there is an implication there. Mr. Milkowski agreed all options should be reviewed. Superintendent Hodgdon responded the study group from Hollis looked at several of the options, and recommended one, which was not dissolution (not immediate dissolution).
Superintendent Hodgdon remarked the recommendation is very broadly worded. She believes the task force can shape its work once it comes together. Chairman Partridge questioned representation and was told they have spoken of having representation from both groups that did the previous work, representation from the school boards, and community participation. It was felt the task force could begin with a core group and expand from there.
Mr. Milkowski stated they would not be seeing a tax impact as part of this. Chairman Partridge stated that could be part of the educational piece. Superintendent Hodgdon stated another item to illustrate the educational impact is the discussion on how many grades are housed in a particular facility. Were looking at having students in a school for two years and then moving on to the next. From an educational perspective that is detrimental.
Those who have expressed an interest in serving on the group include; Superintendent Hodgdon, Chairman, Fred Hubert, and Doug Cleveland. It is felt the effective committee size would be under ten (10). Mr. Milkowski expressed an interest in learning more about the task force and perhaps participating as the representative to the Brookline School Board. However, he expressed his dislike of the perspective that is being put together on the educational impact of any future dissolution. Superintendent Hodgdon stated the group might address that and determine that is not how they want to do it. Chairman Partridge remarked if the task force is going into discussions based on dissolution, he has a problem with that as they should go in looking at all options.
Superintendent Hodgdon spoke of Project PROGRESS (group put together to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels) stating they are now actively seeking ways to fund a performance contracting consultant. Having read their presentation material ahead of the meeting COOP, she strongly advocated the exploration of other avenues rather than looking to districts to fund the consultant at this stage. She does not have finalized end of year budget numbers, and felt it was presented to taxpayers and school boards as a way to save money. If we are paying out of that same pool of money that is supposed to be savings for taxpayers and use it for a consultant then we are defeating some of the purpose of it.
She understands the importance of a consultant and what that means for them. Her advice had been to present to the COOP board, but not ask for funding. However, a request for funding was made, and the group has said they would be coming to other districts seeking funding as well. The COOP board did not make a financial commitment.
Chairman Partridge remarked if the group is asking for funding up front with an expected payback a year or two later his response would be no. Mr. Milkowski suggested the group seek private sponsorship. Felt the project would be a long one and the opportunity for inexpensive advertising exists for private entities.
End off Year Status FY09 Budget
Chairman Partridge commented, according to the spreadsheets provided, the budget balance is $308,234.63. Superintendent Hodgdon stated the figures provided are as of May 20th and include encumbrances. Chairman Partridge requested Ms. Duhamel provide an explanation of the report at the June meeting.
Brookline Fire Department Bills
Chairman Partridge informed the board the opinion of the Selectmen was to wait until the end of the year, and if the district has a surplus the bill should be paid out of that. Ms. Meagher stated her belief the bill would be cut back to what was paid out, and was told the actual amount paid was $38 an hour. Chairman partridge suggested consideration should be given to the possibility of a surplus at the Fire Department.
Finalize FY10 Budget
Superintendent Hodgdon remarked there were questions on the part of administration regarding the final budget. Ms. Meagher commented the final cuts have not been determined. She questioned the dollar figure that needed to be reached in terms of reductions. It was noted the support staff returned a sum of $38,000, which was earmarked as a means of retaining staff positions.
When asked for the status of paraprofessionals, Principal Wenger stated of the staff at CSDA they would be cutting 3 positions. Principal Desrochers state she was told to cut two (2) special education paraprofessionals. One aide was left in the budget for flexibility.
Mr. Milkowski remarked the total reductions on the list get us to a variance of $7,476 more than needed. Ms. Meagher commented she is unsure what the workbooks will save us net due to the need for photocopying.
Chairman Partridge stated he is inclined to restore the two kindergarten aides and one other aide (existing staff position) whose position would be determined by the administration. That would leave a positive variance of $1,200. Ms. Meagher and Ms. Lukovits agreed with the suggestion.
When questioned if there are other needs to be considered, both Principals Wenger and Desrochers agreed staff is the number one priority. Chairman Partridge commented he would not vote to support anything other than the retention of staff as that is specifically what the funding was returned for.
Ms. Meagher commented, of the previously proposed reductions, we would be cutting everything on the list except the funding for what was listed as a computer aid and two professional kindergarten aides.
Mr. Milkowski listed the items previously discussed as:
Budget Reduction Proposals
Teacher Wages ($102,683)
Retiring Teacher ( 71,000)
Computer Aide ( 16,222)
Kindergarten Aides ( 28,000)
1169-734 Additional Equipment, Computer ( 5,000)
2400-580 Travel ( 500)
Teaching Supplies ( 500)
1100-730 Ink & Toner ( 1,000)
1105-612 Workbooks, LA ( 600)
2nd Grade Grammar Workbook ( 2,000)
1st Grade Handwriting Workbook ( 2,000)
School Board Salary ( 1,750)
School Board Treasurer Salary Reduction ( 500)
Support Staff ( 38,000)
Total Proposed Budget Reductions 3-24-09 ($269,755)
If the position identified as Computer Aide was retained at $16,222 and the two para-professional positions at $28,000, the total reduction would be ($225,533), which would leave a variance between what is now being proposed and what passed at the annual meeting of $1,254.
Chairman Partridge stated the need for an accounting from the Business Administrator for formal acceptance at the next meeting.
Ms. Amy Fessenden asked for clarification of her understanding the board will vote to retain the two kindergarten aides as well as an aide whose responsibilities will be determined by administration. Chairman Partridge responded her understanding was correct.
Approval of 09-10 Calendar
Chairman Partridge stated his displeasure with starting the school year in August. Asked how the calendar syncs with the other districts. Principal Wenger remarked it is one day off from the COOP. It was discussed at leadership that the COOP would start on a Wednesday and have the 7th and 9th grades start on Friday so that it would count as a school day (they have more calendar days than Brookline does). Brookline wanted to bump Thursday and Friday and not have students start or have to use a third professional development day on that Friday. The first grade bus ride date is Friday September 28th.
It is noted on the bottom of the calendar; should we have a delayed start that falls on an early release day, the early release day is automatically cancelled.
MOTION BY MEMBER MILKOWSKI TO ACCEPT THE CALENDAR AS SUBMITTED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER LUKOVITS
EB – Safety Program
Superintendent Hodgdon stated this was provided as a result of an e-mail request from Ms. Lukovits looking for a policy. Ms. Lukovits remarked she was more interested in the procedure that goes behind the policy. She stated there have been issues with whether parents are allowed on the playground at RMMS, and she was looking for clarification on that. She remarked it has been common practice that parents are allowed to come into the school for lunch and hang out at recess if they are signed in as a visitor.
Principal Desrochers was not aware of that being common practice. Believes there is no need for parents to be on the playground, and cited safety concerns; not all children/adults know who all of the adults are. She has been called out to the playground on several occasions to address this issue.
Ms. Lukovits commented the fact that not all adults are known to all students/staff is the reason for acquiring a visitor pass. Remarked if the practice has changed notification needs to be provided. Stated she had contacted the Police Chief to find out how many times he has been called to either school regarding strangers outside the building or safety issues, and after looking back over the past several years, all he could find were the calls on the horse and the bear.
Mr. Milkowski shared the concern of unauthorized individuals being on school property. However, felt if the individual follows the procedure of obtaining a visitor pass, that should be sufficient. Chairman Partridge believed there should be no distinction between an adult being in the classroom and on the playground.
The policy says the principal is responsible for developing procedures. Mr. Milkowski suggested coming up with a procedure that addresses the principal’s concerns - perhaps a visitor pass could identify the location the visitor will be at.
Ms. Smith informed the board she had been escorted off the playground by Ms. Desrochers after her Son’s kindergarten teacher went to the office and made a request. She had a visitor pass and her Son’s teacher knew who she was. She noted there is nothing in the student handbook that says anything about the policy, and stated she has a problem with a policy that is not made known to the parents.
When asked, Principal Wenger responded she has parents who come in and attend lunch, but she is not aware of anyone who goes out to recess with the students. She noted there is also a concern with confidentiality regarding visibility of other students. Chairman Partridge questioned how that is different than having a parent in a classroom.
Principal Desrochers remarked as it was an issue brought up by staff, she would be happy to bring it back to staff for discussion. When asked, she stated it was more than one staff person who raised a concern.
Mr. Milkowski questioned the opinion of Principal Desrochers regarding parents being on the playground at lunchtime. Her response was that she does not believe it necessary. When asked if there would be a situation where she would not mind parents on the playground, she stated there are exceptions to every procedure, and it would have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Mr. Milkowski suggested the need to define with staff what situations allow parents to spend time with children.
Chairman Partridge commented part of the school is community relations. This situation is being viewed negatively in the community, and the issue has come into this forum because, when asked, board members have not been able to articulate the reasoning.
Ms. Lukovits remarked some kindergarten students are walkers, and the car pool line is on the playground. Wondered how you would pick up your child who is on the playground and being dismissed if you are a walker.
Ms. Kathy Hazelton informed the board, as a volunteer, she has been out on the playground and has even been asked to do carpool duty. Suggested there would need to be specific clarification in terms of what parents can be responsible for when performing volunteer duties.
Superintendent Hodgdon stated whatever procedures are set in place should allow for parents to spend time with their children in meaningful ways, but also be cautious of what is set for procedure for circumstances where parental custody and other issues come into play.
Superintendent Hodgdon commented goals that have been referred to on occasion were set three years ago (listed in the professional growth model). She hoped to see what time period the existing goals were for and if the board is interested in creating a fresh set of goals. She remarked the COOP and Hollis School Boards are engaged in setting new goals. Chairman Partridge suggested it could be a homework assignment for each member to come in with ideas as goals for the district and/or board.
PUBLIC COMMENT – none
MOTION BY MEMBER LUKOVITS THAT THE BOARD GO INTO NON-PUBLIC SESSION PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (a) THE DISMISSAL, PROMOTION OR COMPENSATION OF ANY PUBLIC EMPLOYEE OR THE DISCIPLINING OF SUCH EMPLOYEE, OR THE INVESTIGATION OF ANY CHARGES AGAINST HIM, UNLESS THE EMPLOYEE AFFECTED REQUESTS AN OPEN MEETING, AND PURSUANT TO RSA 91-A:3 II (c) TO DISCUSS A MATTER, WHICH IF DISCUSSED IN PUBLIC, WOULD LIKELY AFFECT ADVERSELY THE REPUTATION OF A PERSON, OTHER THAN A MEMBER OF THE BODY OR AGENCY ITSELF
MOTION SECONDED BY MEMBER MEAGHER
A Viva Voce Roll Call was conducted, which resulted as follows:
Yea: Beth Lukovits, Wanda Meagher, Forrest Milkowski, Dave Partridge
The Board went into non-public session at 8:50 p.m.
Date __________________________ Signed ________________________